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Trying to figure out a header for this thread that summarizes what I'm thinking about.

Campagnolo makes excellent cycling components because Italian cyclists are world class.

So . . . Shimano -- how come no world class Japanese riders? They have world class Japanese baseball players, and these days every thing high tech and leading edge seems "Made In Japan."

Seems like Japanese might come up with some really good climbers -- for all the obvious reasons. Also, because cycling is sooooooo high tech these days, seems like Japan would be leading edge on all the monitoring and physiology involved in racing/training -- satellite up-linked LAT monitors, team vans with major monitor/communications systems . . .

Shimano components, how come no Team Shimano ???

(How come no Team Campagnolo ???)
 

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Lexicon Devil
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Shimano has sponsored track/keirin teams before. I recall seeing Shimano-branded track bikes over on BF or FGG.

As for the lack of a team Shimano/Campagnolo or corporate sponsorship by those aforementioned companies - perhaps that's due to the fact that road cyclists use either one or the other of those two systems (until SRAM!), and for one of those drivetrain companies to underwrite (and favor) a team, a case could be made of misappropriation of some kind.

I know that if I ran a team with certain equipment sponsors, I wouldn't allow my bike to have Shimano parts on it, if Shimano had its own sponsored team.

But then again, Team Disco did have Shimano stickers on its bikes. Could that be due to a Trek affiliation?
 

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Yeah, kind of Insider Trading thing...

Doctor Who said:
I know that if I ran a team with certain equipment sponsors, I wouldn't allow my bike to have Shimano parts on it, if Shimano had its own sponsored team.
I think it would do more to hurt relations than build them. Good point.

Regardless of grouppo, you still have a valid question. Why no Asian teams in European / US cycling?
 

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Maybe more appropriate for the ProCycling forum.

Look at the results for Langkawi. The head of the asian division is ranked 20th in the G.C. They are getting killed. And the euro teams sent their second stringers, neo pros, and out of shape domestiques.

What the Japanese need to do is to form a European based continental team, and plan on being there for the long haul. They need more racing against the best in the world, maybe specializing in climbing type races like the Columbians did when they came over.

The problem is that there is big money in keirin racing.
 

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Hardy Cyclamens said:
Campagnolo makes excellent cycling components because Italian cyclists are world class.

Uh, no, Campy makes excellent components and Italy also happens to put out lots of great of cyclists. There is no cause-effect there. Prob more a function of the popularity of the sport in that country. There are good Japanese (and other Asian countries) riders, they just tend to race domestically (for them). Why no Asian teams in the US? Well, why no US teams in Japan? Sponsorships are about marketing, and what US sponsor wants to market to Japan and vice versa? Plus there are UCI Asia Tour teams and UCI Americas Tour teams for the respective "local" riders and team sponsors. As far as a component maker sponsoring teams (talking title sponsorship), why limit yourself to one when about half the teams can be yours? Components are akin to tires in auto racing in that sense. Regarding riders, once in awhile Asian riders latch onto European teams, Mapei had a guy not so long ago and even Discovery took one last year (still on for 06, BTW). But it's a very Eurocentric sport. Don't forget it wasn't that long ago that US teams popped onto the international (Euro) racing scene. Before Lemond and Lance and 7-Eleven/Motorola/USPS/Discovery, an American in the (Euro) pro peloton was scarce indeed. Anyone remember Boyer?
 

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racerx said:
I think it would do more to hurt relations than build them. Good point.
What?, I don't think so, this happens all the time in motorsports. In MotoGP for example, you have both a Honda factory team, and privateer teams running Honda equipment supplied by the factory. Does the factory team get different or better equipment? Probably (not always though), but of course in motorsports the equipment is a much bigger factor in determining competitivness than it would be in cycling, so there would be less incentive to provide special equipment to the factory team, or to even have a factory team.
 

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the Japanese have had world class track riders. koichi nakano won 10 straight world sprint championships.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Cycling_Championship

i think you don't see many in the european peloton because i think they make more $$ racing in Japan. at least i remember reading that on another forum but have no solid proof.
 

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Japanese aren't good climbers for obvious reasons -- their build tends more towards the stocky powerful side. Of course we're talking about generalizations.

Japan also doesn't have a long history of having professional road cyclists and teams. The first pro team was formed in the early 90's -- essentially a D3 domestic team. They've only had three legitimate pros who have ridden extensively in Europe -- Imanaka for Polti, Mifune for a Belgian Kermesse team, and Ichikawa for Navigare. Ichikawa even won a race or two and was 3rd in the "most aggressive rider" competition in the Giro. There've been some others who have raced in Europe or been attached to some teams but they weren't really legit -- kind of like many of the D3 riders here who are pro in name only or got their ride through their connections.

They do have a lot of good track riders. There are probably over 1500 riders in Japan who can ride a sub-1:10 kilo. Their best Keirin riders would be competitive at Worlds, but they pretty much send only their second stringers to World cup and the World championships. Keirin riders don't make any money for doing well at Worlds and if they crash and get injured they're out of a paycheck. Unlike European pros, Keirin riders aren't salaried -- they make their money through prize money so winning a medal at Worlds doesn't help them get start money or a better salary. Koichi Nakano was really an aberration -- many riders didn't understand why he would want to go to Worlds and risk his livelihood.
 

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so far, Beppu is the only Oriental rider to ride for a Pro Tour team (Discovery). Maybe he'll open the flood door for Asian cyclists to join the ranks of the best teams in the world.

With a population of 1.3 billion people, I'm still waiting for a breakthrough Chinese rider. C'mon Marco Polo team....
 

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There are some pretty strong asian riders , we just don't have enough funding and facilites. Some people have to fly all the way to the US just for altitude training.
 

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Agree

The market for road cycling in Japan is very small, there's NO public profile, not many races which in turn makes them expencive, high travel costs, crowded cities, narrow roads... I could go on for days.

One thing that really bugs me though is how the Ol' Boy network continues to shoot itself in the foot. The riders on the pro teams here aren't the fastest but the ones with mates in management or other positions of influence. I guess it's the same everywhere though.
 

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I was looking into this lately

I was considering my next duty station in Yokosuka and wondered what the riding would be like. I am currently in Hawaii so I am familiar with the paceline drafts or lack thereof. I know that there are many cycling clubs, but not many races. My commuter and race bike are both campy although I have some older shimano hubbed wheelsets.
 

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I'm on the other side of the country but...

I'm pretty sure Yokosuka would be CRAP riding. Tokyo is so big it invades everything around it like a noxious weed. You'd be better trying to get in contact with someone based there on that one. There would be some good weekend trips if you got leave though. And don't worry, Shimano is like rice here, can't beat it but Campy is like chocolate(but really expencive so bring anything you might break)
 

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TakmanJapan says...

Shimano sponsor a road team every year. I think their bike sponsor is Colnago this year. Most road riding is at a bike-shop level (friendly group rides) and races tend to be on circuits or on motorcycle tracks (like Suzuka, Motegi, and others). Remember they had the 1994 worlds in Utsunomiya.

They are good riders -i got killed by a bunch of them. The hard part is finding somewhere without traffic and getting up at the crack of dawn to avoid the traffic and the sweltering heat.

Road racing/riding is alive and well here. The shops turn out lots of bikes and you see lots of guys with sweet rigs motorin down the roads and lanes.
 
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